Schools warned against withholding learners’ report cards over fees arrears
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Pretoria - The Mpumalanga Department of Education has issued a directive warning schools against the withholding of report cards of learners in connection to payment of fees.
Spokesperson for the department Jasper Zwane said the directive is informed by Section 29 (12) of the National Protocol on Assessments for Grade R–12, which prohibits both public and private schools from withholding report cards for any reason.
“The directive states that a report card is issued as the only official document that is used to give feedback to parents on the achievement of learners. It is for this reason that the department further advises schools to ensure that the report cards are duly given to parents when schools close,” said Zwane.
“The report card must include a clear, holistic picture of the learner’s achievement in the different subjects as well as information on the strength and cognitive developmental needs.”
Should a school withhold a report card of a learner “for any reason whatsoever”, Zwane said parents are urged to immediately report the matter at the nearest education circuit office.
“Schools are advised to use other normal norms to ensure that parents meet their obligations without disadvantaging learners in any way,” he said.
MEC for Education in Mpumalanga Bonakele Majuba has condemned the withholding of learners’ report cards and called upon school principals to ensure that report cards issued to parents do not contain any errors.
“Parents have the right to know about the cumulative performance of their children for the whole year. As such we hereby request schools to refrain from withholding the learner report cards for any particular reason,” said Majuba.
Meanwhile, prominent education activist Hendrick Makaneta has appealed to schools to refrain from withholding learners’ report cards.
"The time has come for schools to issue report cards to learners for the academic year 2021. However, the practice of withholding report cards is against the law. Schools that fail to comply with the law should be reported without delay,” said Makaneta.
“I will be writing to the Minister of Basic Education Mme Angie Motshekga, requesting her to make a public statement regarding the issuing of school reports by schools, particularly private schools and former model C schools."
He said learners across South Africa deserve to know how they have performed academically after a long year which was characterised by numerous challenges including the Covid-19 pandemic.
Makaneta suggested that schools that refuse to give learners feedback in the form of report cards be deregistered.
"There is no reason why learners should not be given feedback. Every learner deserves to be treated with respect and be afforded the space to peruse their results as doing so helps them to craft a future for themselves,” Makaneta said.